The US Department of Energy has been promoting the use of skylights for years because of their potential to increase natural light. They’re also recommended for their ability to increase passive heat and lower a home’s reliance on fossil fuels for heating. With such obvious benefits, the only decision for homeowners is which skylight systems will work for best for them.
The Department of Energy’s rule of thumb is that skylight size should be around 5% of the floor area in a room with several windows. In dimmer rooms, skylights should be limited in size to 15% of the floor space. And, since skylights are both a practical and an architectural decision, it’s important to make decisions while a home is being built.
To get an idea which skylight systems work best for your home, here are the three most common.
Fixed skylights are the standard you’ll find in most homes with skylights installed. They’re perfect for any room needing any kind of additional light and can attract the passive heat from the sun.
Most fixed skylights won’t provide much in terms of ventilation, as they’re meant to be sealed. They can, however, provide beautiful and dramatic views depending on their angles.
One of the many bonuses of fixed skylights is that the lack of opening and closing mechanisms eliminate leaks from your roof. You’ll probably need to have roof access to maintain their cleanliness and clarity, however, as fixed skylights are the ideal for any hard-to-reach area.
Tubular skylights are a great alternative to your standard fixed skylights. They can often be installed at strange angles to bring in more light to enclosed spaces. A reflective tube allows them to reflect a lot of light from just about any angle. They look best in hallways, foyers, closets, and pantries where natural light might not find its way in.
Tubular skylights are one of the easiest to install skylight systems and can fit into tight spaces.
A vented skylight, or a “roof window,” offers a little more versatility than the fixed option, and it offers the same kind of spaciousness.
If you have high ceilings, you can get a manual or electric system installed. If you have rooms like a laundry room or bathroom that gets a little more humid than other parts of the home, this is a perfect combination of light and ventilation.
They’re also much easier to clean than fixed or tubular skylights. Easy access to both sides is simple so long as you can reach the ceiling.
Skylight Systems Solve Problems
Whether you’ve got heating, ventilation, or light issues in your home, skylights can solve every one of these problems. They work equally well in modern or more rustic homes.
If you’re ready to consider installing a skylight into your current home or next project, contact us for more information on where to get started.